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Jun 12, 2013 04:59 PM

How are you celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival?

Because you *are* celebrating 端午節, right?

Where are you getting your 粽子 fix? Or are you?

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    1. Cuz I'm getting my 粽子 on tonight.

      5 Replies
            1. re: PeterCC

              Come on over. Mama ipsedixit got plenty. Almost too many.

              Whatcha prefer sweet or savory? Or plain?

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Savory all the way. What's your address? ;-)

      1. My mom used to make them, but not for years. Plus she lives in New England.

        Where is the best place to get them out here (besides someone's mom's/grandmother's)? The kind I like have xian dan huang and you yu, in addition to the standard xiang gu, xia mi, hua sheng, zhu rou, etc. Don't really care for the chestnuts in zongzi, but will tolerate them if the zongzi has all the other stuff listed in it. :-)

        2 Replies
        1. re: PeterCC

          I Fu Tang
          Si Hai
          Cathy's Bakery
          Lu's Garden

        2. Bought some zongzi at Si Hai for myself.

          Mrs. J.L. prefers the ones from Din Tai Fung, so that was procured as well.

          I used to read poetry from 屈原, and now the Chowpup gets to hear me recite it.

          4 Replies
          1. re: J.L.

            I used to read poetry from 屈原, and now the Chowpup gets to hear me recite it.

            Oh wow, really?

            That almost brought a tear to my eyes. It's so Norman Rockwell -- in a very Chinese way.

            Will you adopt me?

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Au contraire... Mama ipse has homemade zongzi, natch. The actual question should be:

              Will you adopt me (& my clan)?

              1. re: J.L.

                Will you read Chinese literature to me in exchange for zongzi?

                I prefer 兵法 (by 孫子), just so you know.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  孫子兵法 - You're a fan of the old romantic style, I see... :-)

                  (For those of you who don't read Chinese following along at home, ipse has asked me to read "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu)

          2. Is there a place in SGV that sells Tainanese style Ba Zhang 台南肉粽? Sorry if this was asked before.

            16 Replies
            1. re: K K

              Call me a bad Taiwanese, but what distinguishes a Tainan zongzi from other savory ones? I really only distinguished between plain, sweet, and savory, just as ipse listed above when inquiring as to my preference.

              My mom's from Tainan, so the fillings that she used (peanuts, pork, dried shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, cuttlefish, salted duck egg yolk) when she made them, are they Tainan style?

              Since I did list the ingredients I am used to in the comment above when I asked where to get them, I'm assuming the places ipse listed do carry zongzi with those fillings.

              Edit: From what I can find, Tainan style includes shiitake and dried shrimp, whereas "regular" savory ones are usually just meat and peanuts. How accurate is this?

              1. re: PeterCC

                I don't eat these often myself and haven't had that many styles (except I do not like the Cantonese ones a single bit, not even at places that supposedly do them well), but I love the Tainanese renditions.

                Chinese Wikipedia can explain it way better than I can


                but for those who cannot read, the Southern Taiwanese renditions use steamed glutinous rice (vs the Northern style of stir frying the rice first before the zongzi is steamed), and the fillings you described are pretty unique to Tainan style (the pork and mushroom are typically braised/simmered, so taste extra good, and good peanut is key). One must have ingredient is 蘿蔔乾 (luo buo gahn) or dried pickled turnip shreds.... it adds an additional crunch and fragrance like none other....akin to what takuan (Japanese pickle) does with toro in a hosomaki. In some ways the Tainanese style is slightly more rustic (but perhaps has been around long

                1. re: K K

                  What makes the Cantonese style Cantonese?

                  My mom used glutinous rice but did par-stir-fry it with the peanuts a little bit. She also didn't braise the pork or mushrooms ahead of time but they were marinated in soy sauce and other stuff for a long time and she used really fatty cuts of pork so the pieces were super tender even without cooking them first. Last, no dried pickled radish shreds in hers. Maybe she made a hybrid.

                  Is the salted duck egg yolk indicative of any particular style of zongzi?

                  1. re: PeterCC

                    The Cantonese style is called Gwo Jing Zong in Cantonese 裹蒸粽. It tends to be a bit on the mushy side, perhaps as a result of a different cooking process (also contains glutinous rice, green beans, and fatty pork, and a large amount of salted egg yolk), and is typically served with a drizzling of soy sauce. It is in some ways not that far off from other renditions, but just not my bag and I never dug it as a child even in Hong Kong. Still dislike it years later.

                    1. re: K K

                      Green beans in a zongzi? Eww! ;-)

                      1. re: PeterCC

                        funny. but my mom is from southern china, and the ones she makes seem very similar to what you describe. except maybe chicken instead of pork. i don't care for dried shrmp so she'd leave them out of the ones she made for me. no green beans, and we never used soy sauce on them.

                        i used to date a taiwanese girl, and it was her take that taiwanese portions tended to be smaller, but more intensely flavored.

                    2. re: PeterCC

                      Also the Tainanese rendition is somewhat similar yet in some ways different, to yoh fan 油飯. This is a pretty common Taiwanese carb dish or snack...basically steamed glutinous rice then stir fried with goodies like dried shrimp, mushrooms, dried fried shallots (good stuff), soy sauce, sesame oil (maybe lard as well). Typical tradition for TW families to give them out as gifts to friends and other family members when they are celebrating the birth of a child. In Northern California some TW style bakeries and supermarket delis also sell them prepackaged to take home, but nothing beats some nai nai's rendition...

                      1. re: K K

                        I am very familiar with youfan. My mom still makes that once in while since it's less labor intensive than zongzi. She always puts reconstituted youyu gan (dried cuttlefish) in that too like her zongzi.

                2. re: K K

                  slightly off topic

                  bak chang is just the teochew/hokkien way of saying zong right? I know that's what they called it in singapore when I went, but it didn't look or taste too different than other variations.

                  1. re: blimpbinge

                    I don't know about bak chang, but if its equivalent to the Taiwanese ba zhang, then the first character is meat (rou) and the second character is the zong in zongzi. So I'm assuming ba zhang (and by extension bak chang...?) could not refer to plain (no meat) or sweet zongzi.

                    1. re: PeterCC

                      hmm ya that may be it

                      I guess i didn't specifically ask for no meat or sweet ones heh

                      1. re: blimpbinge

                        Hokkien and Chiu Chow are different dialects as I understand it, but Chiu Chow food had influences from Hokkien food particularly in ingredients (seafood and innards come immediately to mind, like oyster omlettes or use of intestines).

                        The "Ba" in Ba Zhang means meat in Hokkien Taiwanese, and I'm sure you know that Bak Kut Teh is 肉骨茶 (although I've never heard the "k" pronounced in Ba Zhang), but essential Ba and Bak are the same, which means "meat".

                        1. re: K K

                          I don't think the "k" is emphasized, but where there was english (in singapore), it was written as "bak chang", much like bak kut teh is written with "bak".

                          but then again i think in cantonese and just say "zong", duno if i'd say "yuk zong" lol

                          different dialects, but there's a lot of overlap. Like when people are holding a conversation in hokkien, I understand the point of the conversation, but not each and every specific word. Replying to them is a whole different story :\

                          1. re: blimpbinge

                            I always hear a subtle "v" in with the "b" in "ba" for meat. Like the difference between this "ba" and the "ba" in "ja ba bwei?" ("have you eaten?), which is more of a straight English "b" than the "ba" in "ba zhang". I also hear a "v" in the "bwei".

                            (I'm sure there's a notational difference in whatever the equivalent of Wade-Giles or pinyin is used for transliteration Taiwanese, but I'm too lazy to look right now.)

                            1. re: PeterCC

                              I definitely need to pay more attention now!

                  2. re: K K

                    Lots. And lots.

                    Just about any place that sells Taiwanese small eats will have them. Sometimes by special request, but otherwise generally available in/around this time every year.